Each year GUFC rewards individuals, organizations, businesses, municipalities, and counties for outstanding work in protecting and enhancing our community forests. One Grand Award is given to each of the following categories: Marketing, Streetscape Revitalization, Greenspace Plan, New Development, New Initiative, Business, Media, Civic Organization, Community, Elected/Appointed Official, Education, Individual Achievement, Student, and Urban Arboriculture.
The 2017 Excellence in Urban Forestry Award recipients were honored in November at Callaway Gardens and received a framed print of a Georgia tree by artist Barry Nehr.
Outstanding Marketing Grand Award: Arborguard Tree Specialists for their Construction and Development website Their new website offers vital direction in keeping healthy trees a part of urban settings and is an outstanding resource for tree protection for construction projects.
Outstanding New Development Grand Award: The Mariner Group, Ltd., for Tree Preservation at the Mariner Grove Apartments, Savannah We commend The Mariner Group and Brand Properties for their commitment to preserving trees for this apartment community and for knowing that trees contribute to a better quality of life for all.
Outstanding New Initiative Grand Award: City of Suwanee for the Community Orchard at White Street Park The City of Suwanee and their community volunteers, especially Roger and Brittany Grant, were honored for their vision in creating this orchard and all of the environmental, social, and health benefits it brings to their community.
Outstanding Civic Organization Grand Award: Concrete Jungle, Atlanta Concrete Jungle was honored for its continued dedication in harvesting urban fruit and nut trees to bring fresh produce to communities. This organization has been amazing in its ability to organize volunteers and map fruit trees across Atlanta.
Outstanding Community Grand Award: City of Valdosta – We commend the City of Valdosta for its focus on building a strong urban forestry program and for forming partnerships in this endeavor.
Outstanding Education Grand Award: Georgia Military College STEM Club, Warner Robins Campus This organization was honored for their vision in creating an educational center for both students and the community and for their partnership with Keep Warner Robins Beautiful, as they show there is strength and success in collaboration.
Outstanding Student Grand Award: Georgia-Lee Smith, Project Green Team – Georgia-Lee’s commitment to bringing trees and the outdoors to young kids is impressive! She demonstrates her knowledge that enjoyment and understanding of nature is part of a healthy, positive life and that introducing this concept to young kids is important.
Outstanding Urban Arboriculture Grand Award: City of Savannah Park and Tree Department for post-Hurricane Matthew work The Savannah Park and Tree Department has shown an strong commitment to outstanding urban tree practices following a severe storm and for continuing to protect Savannah’s urban forest.
Outstanding Individual Achievement Grand Award: David Dechant
David Dechant has created an admirable legacy as a leader and educator in urban forestry through his outstanding dedication to his profession and to healthy trees and the communities in which they stand.
2017 President’s Award: Philip Perrone, Savannah
Philip Perrone is an excellent role model for citizen tree advocates, working tirelessly to get a tree lawn ordinance adopted by the City of Savannah. His work has not stopped with the passage of the tree lawn ordinance – he is also volunteering with the Savannah Tree Foundation in publishing a Tree Lawn guidebook for homeowners.
Do you know an individual or organization deserving to be recognized for their good work for community trees? The 2018 awards application will be posted soon.